Water Vole Surveys

  • Qualified surveyors
  • Competitive pricing
  • Pragmatic solutions

Our ecologists are fully qualified to undertake your water vole surveys.

Habitat Assessment

A walkover of the watercourse or waterbody to assess habitat potential for water voles.

Request a quote from £280*

Field Sign Surveys

An inspection of the watercourse or waterbody to look for evidence of water voles (e.g. latrines, feeding stations and footprints).

Request a quote from £390*

Displacement Licence

We can apply for a licence to displace water voles for you.

Request a quote from £599*

Mitigation Strategies

We can devise mitigation strategies to conserve water voles and minimise the risk of works harming water voles.

* Excluding VAT. Guideline prices are for a small, local site. Actual costs are based on various factors including site size and travel distance, get a free quote.

Not sure exactly what you require? Our experienced ecologists will provide free, no obligation advice, just ask.

The Process

Survey Calendar

Habitat assessment and field sign surveys


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Learn More

Why water vole surveys are needed

Water voles are legally protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). The water voles themselves and their burrows are protected

If your proposed works are likely to impact upon a suitable watercourse or waterbody surveys may be required to ensure that the law is not broken and inform a successful planning application.

The survey process

Water vole surveys are usually a two stage process. Initially a habitat assessment is undertaken, usually as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. If there is habitat suitable for water voles which could be affected by the development then field sign surveys are undertaken.

Habitat assessment

This involves an experienced surveyor walking the watercourse or waterbody and noting features with potential for water voles (e.g. water depth, width, bank substrate, vegetation present). This survey is best undertaken between April and September.

Field sign surveys

If the habitat is assessed to be suitable for water voles then field sign surveys are required. This involves a surveyor undertaking a detailed inspection of the watercourse or waterbody for signs of water voles (e.g. latrines, feeding stations and footprints). Two survey visits are required, one early in the season between mid-April and June and one later between July and September.

The next steps

If surveys find that water voles are present we will work closely with you to design practical mitigation to ensure your project complies with wildlife law and that your planning application is successful.

It is often possible to retain water voles within the development through simple layout changes.

Displacement licence

If impacts to water voles cannot be completely avoided it may be necessary to displace water voles from the area to be impacted or translocate them from the site. A licence from the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage) is required to displace and translocate water voles.